2015 Open Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace Is Here
If you’re a self-employed individual with no employees, you are eligible to purchase coverage through the new individual health insurance Marketplace. 2015 open enrollment runs from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015.
To shop for coverage and/or receive assistance:
- Visit HealthCare.gov
- Call the Marketplace’s 24/7 call center: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325) - there are 14,000 call center representatives ready to answer questions and help people stay covered or get the coverage they need.
- Find in-person assistance in your own community at localhelp.healthcare.gov
Additional Key Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act for Self-Employed Individuals
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act occurs in stages, with many of the reforms and requirements taking effect in 2014. Some of the provisions that may impact self-employed individuals include:
- Individual Shared Responsibility (Also Known as Individual Mandate)
Effective January 1, 2014, the Individual Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act means that each individual must have basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption, or pay a fee when filing a federal income tax return. Individuals will not have to pay the fee (also known as an individual shared responsibility payment ) if coverage is unaffordable, if they spend less than three consecutive months without coverage, or if they qualify for an exemption for several other reasons, including hardship and religious beliefs. The fee in 2014 is calculated one of two ways. You’ll pay whichever of these amounts is higher:
*1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the payment.) The maximum payment is the national average yearly premium for a bronze plan.
*$95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum payment per family using this method is $285.
For more information about the Individual Shared Responsibility requirements and exemptions that may apply, refer to this Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Treasury as well as these Q&As from IRS.
- Coverage through Medicaid Expansion
Each state operates a Medicaid program that provides health coverage for lower-income people, families and children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The eligibility rules for Medicaid are different for each state, but most states currently offer coverage for adults with children at some income level. In addition, under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to include adults ages 19 – 64 with incomes up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $15,000 per year for an individual, $31,000/year for a family of four). To learn more about your state Medicaid program and other options available to you, visit Healthcare.gov.
- Additional Medicare Assessment
An Additional Medicare Tax of .9 % went into effect in 2013 and applies to wages, compensation, and self-employment income above a threshold amount received in taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2012. An individual is liable for Additional Medicare Tax if the individual’s wages, compensation, or self-employment income (together with that of his or her spouse if filing a joint return) exceed the threshold amount for the individual’s filing status - $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married joint filers. For more information, refer to these FAQs from IRS.
- Net Investment Income Assessment
Beginning January 1, 2013, a 3.8% tax will be assessed on net investment income such as taxable capital gains, dividends, rents, royalties, and interest for taxpayers with Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) over $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married joint filers. Common types of income that are not investment income are wages, unemployment compensation, operating income from a non-passive business, Social Security Benefits, alimony, tax-exempt interest, and self-employment income.
Find Plan Information In Your Area
Find and compare Marketplace health plans in your area by using this interactive tool at Healthcare.gov.
Timeline of Provisions
The Affordable Care Act timeline provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes the next steps you can take to implement the provisions.